- Help people to improve the quality of life in their local area
- Requires the ability to work well with others, sensitivity and understanding and a creative approach to problem solving
- Your role will involve spending time out in the community visiting local people and groups, and attending meetings
As a community development worker you'll work with individuals, families and groups in socially or financially deprived areas. You'll provide leadership and bring local people together to make changes and tackle social inequality. You'll also help people to develop their skills, knowledge, and experience. You'll work with them to build their confidence so that they can eventually run their own community groups. You'll address a range of issues in the community, like improving local facilities, leisure and housing, or reducing anti-social behaviour. As a manager, you'll find and secure funding for projects.
- Finding out about the community's needs, problems and barriers
- Making sure local people take action and have their say
- Developing new opportunities and monitoring existing projects
- Helping to raise public awareness about community issues
- Building links with other groups and agencies
- Raising funds
- Recruiting and training staff and volunteers
- Planning meetings and events
- Managing budgets and administrative work
Public sector posts have national pay scales. In the voluntary sector pay can vary considerably depending on your experience and location. You'll need to be flexible, as the work can include unsocial hours like evenings and weekends. You'll be office based, but you'll spend much of your time out in the community visiting local people and groups, and attending meetings. You could specialise in a particular issue or broaden your experience and work with different issues or groups.
This role is ideal for those that want to help people to improve the quality of life in their local area.
A common way into this job is to volunteer for local projects. You'll usually receive some training on the job. You may also get the chance to take an introductory part-time college course in community work.
You'll need practical experience of working in the community for this role which you can get by volunteering with a local community group, tenants' association or charity or working in a related career like housing, regeneration, social work or youth work. You can find local opportunities through Do-it and My Community.
You could also take a college course, which may be useful when applying for a trainee development worker job. Courses include a level 2 and 3 Certificate in Community Development and a level 4 Higher National Certificate in Social and Community Work.
Alternatively you could get a foundation degree or degree in community development, community studies, youth work or social sciences. Most of these courses include work placements to help you build up your experience for the job.
If you want to specialise in helping the community with health and wellbeing issues, you might be able to do a public health practitioner degree apprenticeship.
With experience you could move into management, policy-making, or work as a freelance trainer or consultant. You could specialise in a certain issue, like health, homelessness or youth work.